A former state trooper has pleaded guilty to the lesser of two charges for taking a woman's cellphone while responding to a traffic crash in Minneapolis in March 2020, opening it and texting nude or partly nude photos of her to his phone.

Albert Kuehne, 37, of Dayton, Minn., admitted Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court to nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, a gross misdemeanor, while a felony count of harassment is being dismissed. Sentencing is scheduled for Monday.

The State Patrol put Kuehne on paid administrative leave on May 20, 2020, and fired him on Oct. 2. Also, he is no longer licensed to serve in law enforcement, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board said Thursday. On March 25, 2020, Kuehne responded on Interstate 94 near Cedar Avenue to a single-vehicle crash involving a 25-year-old driver, according to the charges. Kuehne detained her on suspicion of drunken driving. She was taken to a hospital, treated and released.

When she returned home, her boyfriend was using her laptop computer, which is linked to her cellphone. The laptop records showed that her phone was accessed and nude photos of her were texted from it to an unknown phone.

Her boyfriend called the number for the unknown phone, and the person who answered identified himself as Kuehne. Using a search warrant, investigators seized his phone and found three photos of the woman, according to the complaint.

In June 2018, Kuehne was one of two troopers and a trainee placed on leave after they pursued a speeder off an interstate into a north Minneapolis neighborhood at speeds up to 80 mph for several minutes before the SUV struck and seriously injured three children under 5.

Paul Walsh